Latest: Westfield America Inc & Trust both up, Pirelli sets up London property office, JC Penney to close 47 stores, US housing figures show big fall in December permits, Extended Stay chain growing rapidly, Boma International net portal, Carousel mall expands, Equity Office sells office block, AMC cinema chain makes another loss, Carey signs for new corporate facility, Loews cinema chain faces debt deadline, nursing home investor LTC’s earnings down, Universal Health profit up, Kuwaitis invest in US, Lend Lease in Boston development.
28 January 2001
Westfield America Inc increased fourth-quarter funds from operations by 4.3% to $US52.8 million on revenue up 6.6% to $US140 million. For the year to December, it increased funds from operations by 10.3% to $US195.2 million, representing a 5.8% increase on a per share basis. Mall sales per square metre increased 4.7%. Leases signed during the fourth quarter averaged $US48.40/ftÂ² ($NZ1197/mÂ²), during the year $US38/ftÂ² ($NZ940/mÂ²). Average mall rents are $US32.83/ftÂ² ($NZ812/mÂ²). Weighted average interest rate of debt was 7.45%, debt to total market capitalisation was 58.3%. Westfield America Inc owns interests in 39 major shopping centres. Westfield America Trust, which owns 56.9% of Westfield America Inc, increased profit 23% to $A141.8 million last year.
Italian tyre company Pirelli has set up a London real estate company and renamed its Italian property company, Milano Centrale, as it raises the profile of its fourth business. It manages an 8 billion euro ($NZ17 billion) property portfolio now, half owned by third parties, half owned by property funds in which it invests.
US retailer JC Penney will close 47 stores and take a fourth-quarter pretax charge of $US275 million.
27 January 2001
This one should have been in last weekend â€” US housing starts and building permits for December. The seasonally adjusted figures commonly presented by the US Commerce Department’s Census Bureau show starts (Â± 6%) virtually unchanged from the revised November rate but 11% (Â± 7%) below the December 1999 rate. I prefer the figures with least tampering, not seasonally adjusted. This set shows starts down 4.3% to 1,593,800 for the year to December 2000, and down 12.5% to 101,300 for the month, with an average relative standard error of 1% on the annual figure and 3% on the monthly. The unadjusted permit level (same error margin) for the year was 5.6% to 1,569,700, and the monthly figure fell a whopping 17.7% to 99,500 (but seasonally adjusted the fall was 11.3%). January tends to be a quiet month for both starts and permits, so another low figure can be expected when those figures are released in February.
Extended Stay America Inc has opened its 393rd property, a 92-room Efficiency Studios hotel. Chief executive George Johnson says it’s the fastest-growing segment of the hotel industry.
The Building Owners & Managers Association International, of the US, has launched an e-commerce portal in association with BuildingsNet Inc, ManageStar.com and PropertyManagerz.com.
26 January 2001
The Carousel Centre in Syracuse, New York, will grow to 437,000mÂ² by adding a four-storey aquarium, 800 hotel rooms, indoor golf range and indoor bass fishing pond, making it briefly 46,500mÂ² bigger than the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, which plans to add two hotels, a theatre and more shops next year. They’ll both still be smaller than the 492,000mÂ² West Edmonton Mall in Canada.
Equity Office Properties Trust has sold the Warner Park Centre in Woodland Hills, California, part of the portfolio acquired when it bought Cornerstone Properties last June. Adler Realty Advisors and partners bought the 5329mÂ² office building for $US8.95 million.
Kansas-based AMC Entertainment Inc has closed 800 screens, mostly older-style multiplexes, since 1995 and will continue closures at 70-80/year as leases expire. Two-thirds of its screens now are megaplexes, with plusher stadium seating and bigger screens. AMC reported third-quarter revenue up 7% to $US305 million, adjusted ebitda up 18% to $US35 million, and a net loss of $US8.2 million, better than the $US8.9 million loss for the quarter in 1999. The chairman was happy with the ebitda gain, said nothing about the continuing losses, up 21% for the three quarters to $US31.5 million.
WP Carey & Co has signed to buy a 24,154mÂ² North Carolina facility for making heavy track components for $US7.7 million, at $NZ732/mÂ². WP Carey specialises in owning and net leasing corporate properties. This one will be operated by Meridian Automotive Systems.
Loews Cineplex Entertainment, one of the biggest cinema operators in the US, reported a third-quarter $US186 million net loss, will close 112 older cinemas with 675 screens, about a quarter of its business, and faced a deadline this week to make repayments on $US750 million of debt. Banks waived the deadline several times, but not this week.
LTC Properties Inc, which has investments in 249 skilled nursing facilities, 94 assisted-living residences and four schools, had slightly lower fourth-quarter revenue of $US20.4 million, funds from operations 15% down at $US7.9 million, and a net loss after preferred dividends of $US3 million ($US9.3 million net loss). Annual revenue was also steady at $US87.1 million, funds from operations fell 17% to $US37.6 million and net income available to common shareholders was steady at $US16.6 million.
Universal Health Realty Income Trust increased fourth-quarter funds from operations 5.6% to $US5.9 million on revenue up 14% at $US7 million, and increased full-year funds from operations 5% to $US22.9 million, both 2000 figures boosted by a $US1.9 million gain on property sale.
Kuwait Finance House has set up a $US106 million real estate investment portfolio with Citibank to investment under lease terms which meet Islamic banking rules. The Kuwaitis will out in $US25 million, Citibank $US15 million, institutional and individual investors the rest.
22 January 2001
Lend Lease Real Estate Investments is advising two of the three partners which will build a 31-storey, 56,000mÂ² office tower at 33 Arch St in Boston, with 800 parking spaces on an adjoining site. The joint venture is between Congress Group Ventures, the electrical workers’ pension fund, NEBF, and Value Enhancement Fund IV.